Nothing screams farmhouse thrills than an old tire planters.
Colors popping from what was once four black beasts rumbling down a lonely country road. Spirals of dust billowing behind; monsters full of life with no sign of relenting.
Tires make the world go round, literally.
Unless, of course, you are filthy rich and cruise the skies, and even then you need them for the takeoff run.
But these tires don’t last forever.
And old tires can never be tires again-except for re-treads. Hence can never cycle back, as this cycle requires a circle, and instead, the tires that make it to a “recycle center” are usually shredded and used in roads.
So, next time your four car rubbers are tired of meeting the tarmac and a lot of love lost between the two masses of black, its time to hone your spray paint skills.
Upcycling old rubber tires is a great way to keep them out of landfills. Painted with bright colors and fun patterns, they can become vibrant lawn art, and outdoor planters.
So give your old tires a fresh coat and illustrate your gardening skills on them.
Here is a step by step guide to making an old tire planter.
Quick Step by Step Tire Planter project
When you decide to use a tire planter you can choose one of many ways to go about it.
Mostly there is no need to cut, invert, do a couple of cartwheels and a dance-off with the tire. Simply take the tire as it is, paint it, place it on the desired part of your yard, add a plastic bag on the inside and start your gardening.
- Take you painted tire and place it on the desired position in your garden.
- PLace a plastic bad on the inside making sure you tuck it in such a way it will carry the weight of the soil and the plant.
- Make a drainage hole at the bottom of the plastic bag. Add gravel at the bottom if you plan to grow plants that require perfect drainage. The plastic bag make sure toxins don't leach from the tire to the plant
- Add your soil mix, then water the soil sparingly after making sure your plastic bag and drainage hole are perfectly placed.
- Trasnplant your seeling, seed or cuttings into the tire planter then water adequately.
If you opt for the "cartwheels" approach here is how to cut your tire.
- Draw your desired pattern on the tire so that the cut end up where you want it to be.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the side walls which should be fairly soft and easy.
- Cut the pattern from the tread side outwards towards the center hole.
- After the perfect pattern cut turns the tire inside out such that the outside part is on the inside. These way you will end up with smoother inside part on the outside, however, this is one way to do it you can opt of any other design.
- To turn the tire inside out, stand the tire up and with your knee push the soft spot on the underside nearest to the ground while pulling back and inverting the top with your hands.
- If it doesn't invert try again pressing your knee on a different spot. Put pressure on the worn out part of the tire since they are more flexible.
- Once the first part if fairly inside-out take time to push out the rest of the tire all way around.
Spruce The Tire With Chic Paint Colors
Honestly old tire reuse projects are not senior folks intrigues; in fact, they are not upscale brats idea of fun.
But if your little ones are daringly venturesome this is the awesome DIY project for you and them.
However before we let the spray guns loose, let's prepare our tires.
How To Clean An Old Rubber Tire
What Your Need
- Rubber tire
- A clean bucket
- High-pressure water hose
- Special tire cleaner
- Tire scrub brush
- Clean dry cloth
- Pliers or steel wire clippers
- Safety gloves
The 7 Quick Steps Cleaning Process
- Softly scan the surface of your tire inspecting for any popping wires or pebble stuck in the treads. You will possibly find edges of metal wires popping to the surface especially on older tires. Wear safety gloves to keep them from pricking your palm.
- Use your pliers or metal clippers to cut any wires popping to the surface; both on the inside and outside.
- With clean water in your bucket wash lose dust and grime from your tire. Use household detergent and scrub brush to remove tougher stains. Don't be afraid to apply a lot of pressure when scrubbing.
- Rinse the tires and let them dry in the sun for a few minutes, this will allow you to do another inspection for any stubborn stains which will require you to use special tire cleaners. Also look out for any popping wire edges you might have missed.
- Because rubber is a fairly porous surface, it can be difficult to get all grime off your tires. Spay tire cleaner and let it sit on the tire for a minute or two; so it can soak in and dislodge as much dirt and grime as possible.
- Scrub the tires again after giving the cleaner enough time to soak in.
- After scrubbing as much grime off of the tire as you can use a hose to rinse the tire off, dry the tire with the clean dry cloth and later let it sun dry for 15-30 minutes.
Pre-painting An Old Rubber Tire Planter:What to Consider
Use Durable Low-VOC Paint
Opt for durable non-toxic outdoor paint.
Paints and finishes release low-level toxic emissions into the air for years after application.
New environmental regulations and consumer demands have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Now, paint manufacturers produce one or more non-VOC variety of paint which is durable, cost-effective and less harmful to people and the environment.
Opt for Marine Paint
Marine paint -meant for boats- would be the most durable option for permanent use on rubber tires.
Most of the other paints are susceptible to chipping, peeling or cracking when used on rubber especially with outdoor planters which are exposed to adverse weather.
Other adequate alternatives are...
- Acrylic craft paint when rubber planters are to remain in closed spaces away from intense sun and rain.
- Any durable outdoor paint when the tire is out in the yard.
- Easy to remove spray paint when you frequently need to change the color of you tire planter.
Use Bright and Vivid Colors
Black or darker colors absorbs most heat from the sun and get hot fairly quickly. Plants hence do better in lightly painted planters since they reflect most of the sun wavelength and keep the plants cool and lush.
Light bold colors are also more appealing and better to spice your outdoor space. With bright colors, it's easier to achieve the shabby chic look you desire of your yard.
Since the tires are ideally supposed to spruce you area in on themselves plus the plants inside, don't be shy to go all out on bold hues. This is the time to pop-in vivid blues, greens, yellows, reds, purples and pinks.
Painting An Old Tire Planter
What You Need
- Outdoor use spray paint
- Contact paper
- Outdoor Acrylic paint
- Paint Brushes
The Painting Process
- Place a plastic paper protection on the ground on which the tire will be placed on.
- Prop the tire in such a way that you don't necessarily stain the plastic paper and don't risk pulling the paper under the tire and end up leaving it in direct contact with the ground.
- Use spray paint suitable for outdoor use to color the outside face of your tire. Most paints are a combination of the paint and primer hence no need for priming before. Besides black tires take several coats of paint hence the extra coats will compensate for the primer.
- When done with the tops side flip the tire gradually making sure you get the whole outside face evenly.
- Give the sprayed coat to dry before you can put any extra impressions.
- To paint designs on the tire, create stencil first by making a cut out of the desired shape on the contact paper and stick it on the face of the tire firmly.
- Using a brush and outdoor acrylic paint, make the desired design on the tire making sure you don't go past the outline of your stencil. Move the paintbrush from the outside in so paint does not leak under the stencil. And be sure to get the brush into the treads of the tire for maximum paint coverage.
- Paint one or two additional coats of your design to make it opaque. If you've already removed the stencils, that's fine, since you can use the first coat as your guide.
- Give your paint time to completely dry before you can prepare it for planting.
The Tire Garden Debate
I'll tell you why you will want to garden on tires.
There is no digging.
Two you will play a role in reducing the hundreds if not millions of tires that end up in landfills across the globe.
Or worse tires that end up in furnaces releasing toxic fumes in the atmosphere around us.
But then you may be concerned about what grows in upcycled tire planters. Half of the gardening world believe it's reckless to grow edibles in tires.
They argue that tires are filled with a host of chemicals and metals some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, However, opponents believe tires that end up in landfills burn and release toxins in an accelerated manner.
The arguments continue; either whereas growing edibles in tires are not conclusively proven to be hazardous, the burning arguments is compelling.
Hence the middle way: gardeners who are moderately but not frantically concerned about the chemicals in tires should be able to rest easy on the short-term use of tire gardens.
However it's important to be aware that gradually rubber tires do break down and release the same metal and chemical know to be an immediate problem while burned. Although the process is extremely slow.
Gardners who are very concerned about chemicals should rest easy if they stay away from tire gardens or better still grow non-edibles like flowers in their tires.
See this articleon the health considerations when using tires for garden containers.